Friday, December 16, 2011

Lessons from Fridays

Today is the last Friday I will ever experience in the normal Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm working world. It's the last Friday I will have in this cozy office of mine which I must start cleaning out soon. And it's the last Friday that can teach me lessons about... well... life.

Fridays are often looked upon with a lot of excitement and joy. Everyone wants to end a boisterously busy workweek to start a perfectly peaceful weekend. Offices everywhere have at least one person saying, "TGIF" to a co-worker at least once every Friday. At my work, I am that person. 

I love Fridays. And even greater are the Friday Holidays I don't have to go to work (Cesar Chavez Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving-...I know you keep track too). But as much as I look forward to this day, the reality of it is that good old fun Friday will always come to an end... in 24 hours. Fun Fridays become Fleeting Fridays. And so before this Friday fleets away, I want to celebrate my last Friday by posting some lessons this day of the week taught me about life. So... here we go.

Lessons from Fridays
1) There are always good/better days ahead.
We've all had tough workweeks (if not, where do you work?!) - the kind that gets you tired, exhausted, and pondering why you even do what you do. But no matter how badly busy and seriously stressful it gets, there is a glimmer of hope that shines through your eyes (even if they are super small like mine) when you think about Friday. The thing about Friday is that even if you're having a bad Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you know Friday is coming with promise of rest. Fridays never fail you - it has and will always show up. And so Fridays teach me that there are always good days ahead. Of course we have bad days and times of hardship and busyness... but trials will end, rest will be provided, and relaxing days are sure to come. It might take a while, but it always shows up. Fridays teach you that there are always better days ahead and that's surely something to keep you going and enduring.

2) Press the brakes and take some breaks.
Fridays teach me that it's okay to take breaks. You always have something to take care of, something to accomplish, somewhere to be, but you also need to press the brakes and take some breaks. Rest is not forbidden - it is allowed and encouraged. Breaks will refresh you and help you to be much more productive when you go back to tackle your work. Can you imagine how ineffective you would be if you worked every single day - 7 days a week? Take a break. Enjoy family and friends and take care of other things. Take a breather, enjoy what you have and the people around - it's okay.

3) Finish Strong.
The biggest temptation when I see the end nigh is to slow down, be slothful, and finish weak. But friends, you don't finish your week by finishing weak (I'm getting really punny around here). Fridays teach me to discipline myself to finish strong. Fridays are unique in that though it marks the beginning of much needed rest, it still contains 8 hours of work. So, just because it's Friday does not mean you get to rest. Don't press the brakes until it's time to take the breaks (punny punny). Finish your work strong - it'll make your time of rest feel much more deserved and you'll start it off feeling accomplished and able.

Well... there are more but I must do my last work meeting ever soon so we'll just end here. Working life Fridays - it has been a good two years. Thank you for all your lessons.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lessons from Mondays

Today is the last Monday I will ever experience in the normal Mon-Fri; 8am-5pm working world. It's the last Monday I have in this cozy office of mine which is like a 2nd home by now. And it's the last Monday that can teach me lessons about... well... life.

Mondays are often looked upon with a lot of grief and dread. No one wants to end a perfectly peaceful weekend (does that even exist?) to resume a boisterously busy workweek (definitely exists). But the reality of it is that good old mean Monday, with the exception of Holidays (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day - ...I know you keep track too), will always come. And though sometimes I do dread the menace Mondays bring, I am thankful for the lessons that Mondays teach.

I've been journaling what Mondays have been teaching me about life and such and want to celebrate my last Monday by posting some of those lessons here on my entry-deprived blog. So... here we go.

Lessons from Mondays
1) You can't outrun your responsibilities.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has thought on Friday: it's the end of the week and I'll just hold off on this one! I've done that a lot in my short 2 years of working here. But the first thing Mondays teach me every morning when I sit down on my office chair is that I cannot run away from my problems and my responsibilities. It's always waiting for me when I return.... I'm going to have to take care it eventually. So... take care of it. Or else it's like the tortoise and the hare story - you are the hare and your work is the tortoise (spoiler: the tortoise wins the race).

2) You have responsibilities.
Mondays teach me that I have things I need to take care of. That I do need to get up and get somewhere or accomplish some task. That though the weekend was a time of needed rest, I have duties, responsibilities, and actual things I'm entrusted to do. It reminds me to get to work and be active rather than to be slothful and lazy. I need that boost and reminder... or else I would be accomplishing very little. Rain or shine, you must still rise. For this lesson, I am thankful.

3) You must get enough sleep.
My brave friend used to say that 'Sleep is weakness entering the body. I'll sleep when I'm dead.' That same friend once stayed up for 3-4 days straight and then suddenly knocked out for a full 24 hours. He has never repeated his statement since.
Mondays are probably the most sleep-deprived day of the workweek because Sundays are the hardest days to discipline yourself to sleep. This is probably due to many reasons like late Friday nights, which lead to Saturday sleep-ins and Saturday sleep-lates, which lead to the post-church nap (I can't be the only post-church napper), which lead to not tired Sunday nights, which lead to the Sunday stay-ups which lead to tired Mondays. Tiresome Mondays are not fun, especially with much to do. So Mondays teach me the importance of sleep and to discipline myself to sleep. I need it and am dependent on it because I am a weak creature. Therefore I have to discipline myself to sleep because 'sleep is strength entering the body' so that I can face Mondays.

4) Coffee works magic.
Mondays teach me that you will fail Monday lesson #3 very often. But, not to worry, there is an alternative solution called, 'coffee.' Absolutely amazing. I will let a comic strip I made do the talking for me here.

5) Work is a Grace Gift.
Yes, in all honesty, sometimes I absolutely dread coming into work on Mondays. But I think the biggest thing Monday mornings teach me is to chill, take a breath, and realize what I have. Every single Monday (no matter how stressful or dreadful) reminds me that I have a job with which I can support myself, pay the bills, and even save. It reminds me that my employment is a privilege and a grace gift. I do not deserve it at all and I am absolutely thankful that I have it. I have an amazing office that I love (full-loaded with a sling-shot and stress target), amazing co-workers who are fun and hard-working, and an amazing sick/vacation time and benefits package. It has been a good 2 years. Work has truly been a privilege.

Well... Working life Mondays - it has been a good two years. Thank you for all your lessons.